• RATE YOUR SURGEON ON OUR NEW JOINT SURGEON LOCATOR

    Your opinion matters so please click on this announcement to find out how to rate the surgeons you have worked with

    You could also go to the Surgeon Locator via the blue nav bar at the top - find the tab "Surgeon Locator"

Reading the recovery board

Status
Not open for further replies.

River

member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
223
Age
55
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I thought I would venture over to the other part of the knee messageboard to see a little more of what life is like "on the other side".

But it's scary over there! I didn't stay that long but there seem to be lots of stories of slow recovery, intense pain, complications of various kinds... and worst of all for me, because I have a particular phobia about this, a thread by someone (janlyn) who is having trouble recovering emotionally, possibly because --though this hadn't been intended-- she was awake during the operation.

I thought my fear about waking up during surgery was irrational but it seems that it can happen.

I don't want to hide my head in the sand about how hard it is all going to be but maybe it's better not to read the horror stories... I don't know. There are times I want to ring up and tell the hospital my knees have been miraculously cured and they should give my slot to somebody else...This is one of them!

Sorry this isn't a specific question but maybe someone will come along and tell me why I shouldn't make that phone call!

River
 

rugrat

new member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
14
Location
United States
Hey River........that is my fear also of waking up...but I will tell them in the morning of my fear and maybe they can make my coctail a little stonger :th_hate-shocked:! I am confident that I won't remember a thing though. I to have read SO MUCH STUFF :th_yahoo:and I stopped the sunday....I have only now been reading pre op here. Good luck to ya!

TRK 2/25/11
Rugrat (Brian)
 
OP
OP
R

River

member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
223
Age
55
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hi Brian, yes that is the only thing to do, I suppose, tell them you want a very strong 'cocktail'! I am wondering again about asking for a general anaesthetic instead of the spinal block that has been recommended. I'm not sure, because I gather the pain control afterwards is less effective but if it makes it less likely you will wake up at the wrong time, maybe it's better for me given that I am so afraid of this.

I see your operation is tomorrow. All the best, I hope it goes really well and you will come back on here afterwards to report how much better you feel.

River
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
29,782
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hi River! Please don't worry about what you are reading in post-op. There are a couple of issues to consider:

People who have very easy recoveries usually post for a short time when they reach the other side and then go off and get on with their lives. They check back but normally don't need the support of those who are having a rough time. Thus the Post Op side seems to suggest that the horror stories are the norm. They are not - trust me.

I was convinced that I was never going to have a spinal until I joined BoneSmart. I had the same fear as you. I can tell you that I was awake during my LTHR. Why? Because I did not state clearly to the anesthetist that I wanted to sleep through the procedure.

When you have a spinal recovery is SO much easier. There is no nausea and you aren't woozy and dazed for hours. Then there is the immediate pain management.

Please continue to come here and voice your concerns. We have been there and we can help you get to the other side.

Hang in there - you will make it to the pain free side soon!
 

cotton1958

supremo
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
2,319
Age
61
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
As for waking up during surgery, hospital I went to doesn't do spinals. So that wasn't a problem. I had GA with no nausea or wooziness.

I joined/found Bonesmart about 3 weeks before surgery. There are so many things I would not know if it was not for this site. So I found it extremely helpful. Guess having been 50, I just didn't know anyone who had had knee surgery. So I was on my own until BS.

Trying to get the knee back into shape seems so hard at first, and it is hard. It hurts. But it beats the alternative.

I ran into my supervisor yesterday in the job I had to quit that I could no longer do. She couldn't believe how I could walk and move my knees. She had seen me quickly fall into working 30 hours a week on my feet, to having to leave my job crying, because I simply couldn't walk or stand any longer.

So there are a lot of good things about this process. But I understand your thinking. Although my Dad had a hip, I didn't really understand what went on with that. And I peek over to the hip side and it scares me too. So I guess that it's just human nature to be afraid.
 

badtothebone

junior member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
21
Age
54
Location
United States
Gender
Female
Hey River, I woke up during my 1st hip replacement and ask them if someone was using a hammer. Of course they told me no. I was so out of it that I didn't care what they were doing. :) They just told me that they were almost finished and I went back to sleep. I didn't have a care in the world. So try not to worry.
 

Max Wallace

graduate
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
572
Location
MEMPHIS, TN
People that have no problems progress very quickly tend to migrate away not everyone but a considerable number don't need the support so they just fade away. On the opposite side people having problems tend to ask questions and hang around (where else can they go) and that's why this forum is so critical.

This forum like any other will always have more post about pain, suffering, slow recovery because it's human nature to forget and repress unpleasant times in our life's.

Max

Thank GOD for the ones that hang around supportability and officially.

KUDOS to the forum administrators. GREAT JOB!
 

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR
Nurse Director
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
84,925
Age
78
Location
The North
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
You know (for all people reading this) even if you do end up awake for the surgery and find you don't like it, you can still ask to be knocked out. It's only a small syringe of medication which is always on hand and is no trouble for the anaesthetist to get and give you. So even if you do think you'd like to be awake and then change your mind, it's never too late. And neither is it about having a 'stronger' dose, just that they top it up at intervals during the procedure. But as badtothebone said, the happy juice will render you so relaxed and out of it, you won't really bother if you do wake up! But they can quickly put you back to sleep again, even if it's just for the last 10 mins!

And about the apparent plethora of problems on "the other side" it's in the nature of a forum to get more of them than are in real life. People who've had successful surgery and recovery don't come on the internet looking for support forums and if they do, once they've had their surgery and got better, we never see them again. That's as it should be. I posted a word of caution about forums to warn people of this very thing.

 

referee54

omega
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
17,881
Age
65
Location
Northern Part of the Buckeye State
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
I had the spinal, and I cannot remember a thing; as Jo says, if you do have issues, they can quickly be resolved through a little bit more medication.

And, as others have said, many have relatively simple recoveries and move on with their lives.

I would also like to say this, though, as my recovery and rehab from my BTKR was particularly frustrating at times---yes, it was much longer than I would have liked it to be, but in the end, my life is now phenomenal! Pain free and very active.

One aspect of this that we often forget is how long we struggled with pain and being restricted in our activities. In that regard, while a couple of months is somewhat lengthy, it is not nearly the same in scope as what we put up with for the years---or decades of pain and anguish that arthritis had brought us.

I had been bothered by arthritis fro a little over a decade---much shorter than many others here on the forum; it put a big stop on the things that I loved and lived to do. My BTKR was certainly a risk; however, that risk was certainly worth taking and my struggles through rehab/PT were, now I see, relatively minor compared to what I have gained.

Yes, it can be indeed an arduous recovery, but wow, it is really, really worth it.

Tim C.
 

Jamie

ADMINISTRATOR
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
57,318
Age
71
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Have these comments helped you, River? I hope so, because what you DON'T want to do is let an irrational fear (which we all have at some point in this process) cause you to delay your surgery. Because, trust me here.....your pain will NOT delay in getting worse the longer you put this off!!!

The surgery itself is easy! You're asleep....you WILL drift off into a lovely rest and wake up only when it's all over. Granted, there may be some pain in recovery and you have to work at getting muscle strength back. But truth is, you'd be in pain anyway even if you didn't have the surgery and THAT pain would NOT get better.

Hang in there, hon....it's gonna be okay.:th_console:
 
OP
OP
R

River

member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
223
Age
55
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Thank you for all these lovely, kind replies.

I do take the point about people who have problems after surgery posting more than those who recover quickly and well, because if you have rediscovered what it's like to have healthy, happy knees then you'd want to be using them rather than sitting on your bum typing posts on the internet! Maybe I would be the same.

(and thanks all the more to those who've had successful surgery and come back here to tell the tale).

So I will try to remember that and visualise all the unknown happy knees walking and running and horse-riding and climbing stairs and mountains and what have you.

I still feel very unsure and scared about the surgery itself; even the idea of waking up and being able to ask for a top-up of the medication to send me back to sleep, even if I was drowsy and out of it, even that is horrifying to me. It seems that experiences of a general anaesthetic vary, as one post here says it didn't result in wooziness and nausea... the downside for me though is that the pain control afterwards would be less good, and I am afraid of the pain as well. So I'm not sure what to do about the anaesthetic, really.

I know with my head I mustn't back out now though; it took me so long to make the decision and if I chickened out now I would have to build up to making the decision all over again! Plus, yes, the arthritic pain would just keep getting worse (and the surgeon said the procedure would be more complicated at a later stage because there would probably be damage spreading further down the bone in my lower legs).

That's my head, though. Instinctively I want to run a mile in the opposite direction (that's if I could run, of course).

It is lovely to hear from people who have been there and been scared and are still glad they did it because things are so much better now, I must cling to that for dear life!

Sorry I am such a wimp, but thank you all for offering cyber-hands to cyber-hold onto.

River
 
OP
OP
R

River

member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
223
Age
55
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I forgot, I also wanted to respond to this from Tim

I would also like to say this, though, as my recovery and rehab from my BTKR was particularly frustrating at times---yes, it was much longer than I would have liked it to be, but in the end, my life is now phenomenal! Pain free and very active.

One aspect of this that we often forget is how long we struggled with pain and being restricted in our activities. In that regard, while a couple of months is somewhat lengthy, it is not nearly the same in scope as what we put up with for the years---or decades of pain and anguish that arthritis had brought us.

I had been bothered by arthritis fro a little over a decade---much shorter than many others here on the forum; it put a big stop on the things that I loved and lived to do. My BTKR was certainly a risk; however, that risk was certainly worth taking and my struggles through rehab/PT were, now I see, relatively minor compared to what I have gained.

Yes, it can be indeed an arduous recovery, but wow, it is really, really worth it.

Tim C.
That has made me reflect a bit, thank you, Tim. Yes it's true that I tend to discount the limitations I live with now. As the progression of my arthritis has been gradual, I have gradually made allowances and accepted the creeping limitations, and learned to cope. But yes, I too have given up loads of things I used to enjoy. I ration life, I am on a constant 'diet' when it comes to doing things that require energy or even minimal use of my legs. I hope --if I can just grapple with these fears and come out the other side with healthier legs in four or six or nine or twelve months time-- I will be able to feast on all those things I'm not able to enjoy now.

River
 

referee54

omega
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
17,881
Age
65
Location
Northern Part of the Buckeye State
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
I ration life, I am on a constant 'diet' when it comes to doing things that require energy or even minimal use of my legs.

That is a very, very true statement--I never thought of it that way, but you are so very correct! We all have had to, unfortunately, learned to ration our activities and our energy.

Thank you very much for your kind words as well you your keen insight.

Tim C.
 

jugornot

member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
166
Age
61
Location
United States
Gender
Male
I don't know if I'm lucky or not. I come back every once in a while to throw a comment or two. But I understand the process. I have a friend at work who needs 2 knees replaced. He is very afraid. One could say irrationally afraid. I say I owe it to him to inform him. I would be devastated if he had a bad outcome. So I only push so hard. He is really afraid of the pain, so I tell him you will make a choice sooner or later. He plainly sees I'm in less pain than he. He will come around or have to retire. I will trade a few more months of pain in the future to have my other knee done. Now if they were just as successful with necks and shoulders I would be young again in a few more operations.

Bill
 

RestAssured

Forum Advisor
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
8,987
Age
54
Location
Texas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
Hi River!

Please understand that most people do not get a knee infection after surgery like I did.

If the infection hadn't happened, I would be out running and having fun. I am ready to get on the rest of my life so I will have my knee replaced in April!:wink: I am so excited! Nothing is going to hold me back anymore.

So you see River, it shouldn't be a bummer to look "on the other side of the fence!" A lot of us are working on getting back to a magnificent life! I didn't have that before my knee operations, so I haven't lost anything! As a matter of fact my left knee is almost a year old and is doing great!:th_yahoo:

As far as anathesia is concerned, I liked the last doc. He gave me a cocktail before I went in, and then I had a general. It was wonderful!

So River, ask yourself this question. Is my quality of life worth the uncertainty that I might face during a knee replacement? Only you can decide! I know I was fearful before the first one, but everything went so smoothly, that I went for the 2nd one 3 months later!:wink:

Good Luck to you and I will be keeping up with your story!:th_console:
 

Jaycey

FORUM ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
29,782
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I still feel very unsure and scared about the surgery itself; even the idea of waking up and being able to ask for a top-up of the medication to send me back to sleep, even if I was drowsy and out of it, even that is horrifying to me. It seems that experiences of a general anaesthetic vary, as one post here says it didn't result in wooziness and nausea... the downside for me though is that the pain control afterwards would be less good, and I am afraid of the pain as well. So I'm not sure what to do about the anaesthetic, really.
River, of course you are scared. We all were in the same space pre-op. I was a total basket case! :th_hate-shocked:

One thing I should mention, if you opt for a general anaesthetic ask for anti-nausea meds. They work very well! I had a general for my spinal op and never had any nausea. They continued to give me anti-nausea meds until I left the hospital and I was just fine.

We are all cheering you on! You'll get through this - hang in there!
 
OP
OP
R

River

member
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
223
Age
55
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Thanks for these latest replies.

Bill, yes it's everyone's own decision to make, isn't it. I just couldn't have put myself on the waiting list any sooner than this, even if maybe medically it might have been better to do it sooner. I just wasn't ready. And as scared as I am now, I am at least at the point where I can think about it, whereas I just wasn't before. Probably just seeing you and the improvements that have happened for you will help your friend's thought processes along.

Sonja I am so sorry about your infection and hope the revision surgery goes well. Thanks for the reassurance that your experience isn't typical.

Thanks for the info about anti-nausea medication, Jaycey, oh and both Jaycey and Jamie for 'hang in there', 'it will be ok' type messages! Those actually help quite a lot.

Actually I think I have been assuming that waking up during surgery is less likely with a general anaesthetic than with a spinal block but I don't know that for sure. Can anyone tell me if that's true?

Thanks again

River
 

jugornot

member
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
166
Age
61
Location
United States
Gender
Male
I've only been out twice. Once for my knee which went really well with spinal and twilight. The other time I was out was for a colonoscopy. They use much less medication in that case and I did wake up during that. I watched the progress on a tv thing. I saw what looked like a cucumber seed that got washed away. They then noticed that I was awake and I gently fell back to sleep as they depressed a plunger on some meds. I was OK and didn't freak. I could see how some would. I think that if you awaken during the surgery. I would think the only reasons I can see for waking up during surgery is something freaky medically happening between you and the drugs or the anesthesist screws up. I will have the spinal for my next surgery. I loved the control that it gives.

Bill

P.S. I believe you can wake up during either, but the spinal will keep you from feeling pain. I believe you feel the pain during the general you just aren't concious, so if you wake up you hurt. But both are rare occurances. But I really don't know what I'm talking about.
 

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR
Nurse Director
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
84,925
Age
78
Location
The North
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I still feel very unsure and scared about the surgery itself; even the idea of waking up and being able to ask for a top-up of the medication to send me back to sleep, even if I was drowsy and out of it, even that is horrifying to me. It seems that experiences of a general anaesthetic vary, as one post here says it didn't result in wooziness and nausea
Fact is, if you should wake up during the surgery, you will hardly realise you're awake. Don't forget that you'll be under the influence of the 'happy juice' and your ability to feel scared or anxious will be suppressed. And the people who said they didn't experience wooziness after either a spinal or a general, owe that to the skill of the anaesthetist reduced and then stopped the sedation at the right moment so the it all wore off at the same time, resulting in a wide awake and very content patient!
 

FrogFeathers

post-grad
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
1,083
Age
50
Location
Southern Wisconsin
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
I just wanted to throw in my two cents and say that my recovery was twice as long as it should have been because of undiagnosed fibromyalgia. I finally got it diagnosed and since last July I have improved by leaps and bounds.

With all my little setbacks, I was positive it had nothing to do with my knee recovery. And I was right. I'm almost two years out and I'm at the point I should have been at a year ago. (if only I'd had the the proper diagnosis before then).

Also, about the anesthesia- I cut them off when they started to tell me my options. I blurted, "I wanna be knocked out completely. I don't wanna wake up at all in surgery. I want to get on that gurney, not remember a [expletive] thing and wake up in my room."

And I did.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
48,969
Messages
1,338,796
BoneSmarties
30,889
Latest member
Littlepower602
Recent bookmarks
0

Top Bottom